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I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

another excerpt:

Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

and another excerpt:

In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

panic/anxiety attack

vye-leviathan:

pushed-too-far:

chris-sid:

jaspinder:

  • breath in for 4 seconds
  • hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • exhale breath for 8 seconds

repeat once or twice more.

This causes an autonomic nervous system shift from a sympathetic (fight or flight reaction) state to a parasympathetic response.

Use this for panic/anxiety attacks, exams, presentations.

Never not reblog

Tumblr got anxiety advice. Fuck yeah.

Read this earlier, and it helped me a lot tonight.

clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead:

dirtybrian:

thewitchylibrarian:

dirtybrian:

mattachinereview:

biyuti:

girljanitor:

dumbthingswhitepplsay:

popca:

dolgematki:

nativevoice:

“Stop sending expired food”….”fried chicken 64.99” 

IQALUIT, Nunavut — A head of cabbage for $20. Fifteen bucks for a small bag of apples.

A case of ginger ale: $82.

Fed up and frustrated by sky-high food prices and concerned over widespread hunger in their communities, thousands of Inuit have spent weeks posting pictures and price tags from their local grocery stores to a Facebook site called Feed My Family.

Holy hell.

WHAT IN THE FUCK? This shit is not okay.

ughhslfkajsdlf gross gross gross

64.99?????


These people are starving for a reason.

Conservationists

have been starving

these people

to death for years.

Reblogging for the extra articles. 

Also… I might show up to this protest and support them. 

Pay attention to this stuff, please, followers who haven’t heard about this!  This kind of thing is completely erased in news media.

This is really fucking important.

This is why I don’t respect anyone who blindly supports the anti-sealing protestors. Because for a lot of people, it’s the only affordable option.

It’s not just Iqaluit. In Nain, Labrador this problem has been going on for ages and nobody does anything about it. $47 for a ham and $17 for a block of cheese. In Rigolet, Labrador, a loaf of bread costs $7. Here’s another picture of an Iqaluit food price changing before your very eyes.

The NNCP is starving people, reducing their food choices, and keeping people on EI poor. This is so, so wrong.

How can we help? I joined the group and checked out the website, but I didn’t see anything that can be actively done (other than raising awareness, which, of course, is great).

Excellent question! If you read through the group (which is here, for anyone who missed it), there are people talking about some ways to help.

  • Look at the latest news on the Feeding My Family website to see what the priorities are and how you might be able to help.
  • If you’re Canadian, call your local MP and ask to discuss this issue and express your concern.
  • Look up ways to support putting pressure onto airlines to charge fair rates (a $1000 plane ticket should be from one coast to the other, not a few hundred miles).
  • Research and learn what you can about food sustainability. For a start, how about learning square foot/metre (French intensive) gardening or container gardening and starting to practice it yourself? Share these techniques with friends and family. Get good at it so you can teach them to others who have poor food security in your own area.
  • For the love of God, stop signing “anti-sealing”/”anti-hunting” petitions and supporting Greenpeace’s actions without understanding the complicated, nuanced situation in the North.
  • Watch the FB group, because people there mention direct donations and ways to help the organizations actually on the ground there.
  • For example, one person is starting up a donation project/fundraiser.
  • Look at what organizations like FoodShare are doing and support them.

There is so much to be done. Sharing news articles and stories, lists of resources, donation and fundraising pages, and knowledge about food security is critical, but there’s a lot more work of all sorts.

What ifffff…

The Canadian govt stopped focusing on endangering sex workers and driving them underground and the media stopped writing stupid salacious “should we or shouldn’t we” articles ALL WITH THE SAME FUCKING SILHOUETTE OF A MINISKIRTED GIRL ON A CORNER TALKING TO A CAR

and actually stopped being genocidal and took care of these people?

ps I told you canada isn’t cute

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